Column 411 – News Cycle

Ryan Nitzen | August 24, 2022

Cycle news 411

COLUMN

The State of Supercross, Motocross

There is definitely a resurgence in the racing world. Specifically, the state of Supercross. The announcement of two new series, the World Supercross Championship (WSX) and the World SuperMotocross Championship (SMX) should provide fans with plenty of racing in the years to come. New teams, new locations, and ultimately more races are nothing to complain about, and we like to think that a rising tide floats all ships. But is there competition between the two entities, and if so, will it be better or worse for the sport as a whole?

Supercross, motocross, World Supercross and SuperMotocross – riders have more options than ever. Photo by BrownDog Wilson

To clear things up, the WSXs are the new kid on the block ready to strut their stuff. This is a brand new series run by the team that organized the Aus-X Open a few years ago. They are set to embark on their inaugural season in October and have locked down big purses, international venues, 10 teams and 40 runners. From the outside, their business model looks like F1 or MotoGP, but matches Supercross specs. For 2022, their 3-4 race series will take place after the USA Motocross series, but they plan to overlap that schedule in future years. It will be interesting when this calendar comes out.

The SMX is the latest collaboration between the two great American promoters, Feld and MX Sports. They have teamed up to create a giant series within two separate series, which spans the current Supercross and Motocross championship and earns points throughout the year. From what we understand, the top 20 racers in each class will be eligible to race in three “elimination” rounds that will be held on a hybrid-style track (think Monster Cup). Points from those rounds will then earn someone the SuperMotocross World Championship crown. In theory, three different riders could win throughout the year: a Supercross, a motocross and a SuperMotocross. It’s something new and we’ll learn more down the road when more details from Feld and MX Sports are revealed.

But let’s play a guessing game here. As a pilot, that might be fine. More races means more chances to put money in your pocket. And if you’re a Supercross specialist, this might be your chance to ride the stadiums all year round. More hot summers and more than 30 motorcycles plus two. But hopefully your team is ok with you choosing which schedule you want to run. In the case of KTM USA, we have yet to see any support from them regarding the new WSX series. The same goes for Kawasaki, as none of their American riders have been confirmed either. This gives us the idea that they will compete in the SMX Championship, which is basically the current US schedule.

From a team’s perspective, more races means more money. More trips, more coins, more time, more money. This is the bottom line. The WSX grid is made up mostly of privately funded or European-run efforts. Teams like MotoConcepts, MDK Motorsports and Rick Ware Racing are all private companies that seem to have enough “resources” to fund a new racing venture. The others, Craig Dack Yamaha, Bud Racing Kawasaki and Honda NILS are all staples in the MXGP or Australian Championships. The WSX promoters plan to offset the team’s costs, but, ultimately, international travel for larger teams will come at a steep price.

Justin Brayton made a comment that really touched me on this topic. In short, he said Supercross and Motocross are pretty much the same as indoor and beach volleyball. Sure, they’re both volleyball, but the technique, training, and physical exertion required to play each make them two entirely different games. Brayton’s choice to race the WSX road is an easy look at his opinion on the two options.

Eventually, the two calendars will overlap and there will be choices for everyone involved: which series to race, which teams to race for and which calendar to adopt. But for fans, it’s an easy choice. We can support both efforts and enjoy more races than we know what to do with. NC

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